Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick contains twenty-one of Dick's most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers.
In "The Days of Perky Pat," people spend their time playing with dolls who manage to live an idyllic life no longer available to the Earth's real inhabitants. "Adjustment Team" looks at the fate of a man who by mistake has stepped out of his own time. In "Autofac," one community must battle benign machines to take back control of their lives. And in "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon," we follow the story of one man whose very reality may be nothing more than a nightmare. The collection also includes such classic stories as "The Minority Report," the basis for the Steven Spielberg movie, and "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," the basis for the film Total Recall. With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a magnificent distillation of one of American literature's most searching imaginations.
Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
Thirty years after the epic journey chronicled in his classic work The Great Railway Bazaar, the world's most acclaimed travel writer re-creates his 25,000-mile journey through eastern Europe, central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia.Half a lifetime ago, Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his grand tour by train through Asia. In the three decades since, the world he recorded in that book has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time Theroux passed through. And no one is better able to capture the texture, sights, smells, and sounds of that changing landscape than Theroux.Theroux's odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, traveling as the locals do--by stifling train, rattletrap bus, illicit taxi, and mud-caked foot--encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). And wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.PAUL THEROUX was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1941 and published his first novel, Waldo, in 1967. His fiction includes The Mosquito Coast, My Secret History, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, Blinding Light, and most recently, The Elephanta Suite. His highly acclaimed travel books include Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, Fresh Air Fiend, and Dark Star Safari. He has been the guest editor of The Best American Travel Writing and is a frequent contributor to various magazines, including The New Yorker. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.
After eleven years as an American living in London, the renowned travel writer Paul Theroux set out to travel clockwise around the coast of Great Britain to find out what the British were really like. The result is this perceptive, hilarious record of the journey. Whether in Cornwall or Wales, Ulster or Scotland, the people he encountered along the way revealed far more of themselves than they perhaps intended to display to a stranger. Theroux captured their rich and varied conversational commentary with caustic wit and penetrating insight.
The journeys of Paul Theroux take place not only in exotic, unexpected places of the world but in the thoughts, reading, and emotions of the writer himself. A gathering of people, places, and ideas in fifty glittering pieces of gold.
I had cousins at sea. One was in the Cadets. I was wanting to join. My maw did not want me to but my da said I could if I wanted, it was a good life and ye saved yer money, except if ye were daft and done silly things. He said it to me. I would just have to grow up first. /> /> James Kelman’s triumph in Kieron Smith, boy is to bring us completely inside the head of a child and remind us what strange and beautiful things happen in there. /> /> Here is the story of a boyhood in a large industrial city during a time of great social change. Kieron grows from age five to early adolescence amid the general trauma of everyday life--the death of a beloved grandparent, the move to a new home. A whole world is brilliantly realized: sectarian football matches; ferryboats on the river; the unfairness of being a younger brother; climbing drainpipes, trees, and roofs; dogs, cats, sex, and ghosts. /> /> This is a powerful, often hilarious, startlingly direct evocation of childhood.
Scott O'Dell won the Newbery Medal in 1961 for his unforgettable novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, based on the true story of a Nicoleño Indian girl living in solitude between 1835 and 1853 on San Nicolas Island, only seventy miles off the coast of Southern California. His quietly gripping tale of Karana's survival, strength, and courage--and vivid descriptions of island life--has captivated readers for decades. A classic!
In Anne Bartlett's engaging novel, a chance meeting sparks a friendship between two very different women who share a fascination with knitting. Sandra, a rigid academic, struggles to navigate the world without her husband, whom she has recently lost to cancer. Martha--a self-taught textile artist with her own secret store of grief--spends her days knitting elaborate projects charged with personal meaning. As the two women collaborate on a new project, surprising events will help heal them both.
In one of his most exotic and breathtaking journeys, the intrepid traveler Paul Theroux ventures to the South Pacific, exploring fifty-one islands by collapsible kayak. Beginning in New Zealand's rain forests and ultimately coming to shore thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Theroux paddles alone over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors and shark-filled waters, and along treacherous coastlines. This exhilarating tropical epic is full of disarming observations and high adventure.
Starting with a rush-hour subway ride to South Station in Boston to catch the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, Theroux winds up on the poky, wandering Old Patagonian Express steam engine, which comes to a halt in a desolate land of cracked hills and thorn bushes. But with Theroux the view along the way is what matters: the monologuing Mr. Thornberry in Costa Rica, the bogus priest of Cali, and the blind Jorge Luis Borges, who delights in having Theroux read Robert Louis Stevenson to him.
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. /> /> Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.
@90@This startling, far-reaching book captures the tumult, ambition, hardship, and serenity that mark today@95@#8217;s India. Theroux@95@#8217;s Westerners risk venturing far beyond the subcontinent@95@#8217;s well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A middle-aged couple on vacation veers heedlessly from idyll to chaos. A buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds succor in Mumbai@95@#8217;s reeking slums. And a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore. We also meet Indian characters as singular as they are reflective of the country@95@#8217;s subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest striver whose personality is rewired by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and others.@16@ As ever, Theroux@95@#8217;s portraits of people and places explode stereotypes to exhilarating effect. The Elephanta Suite is a welcome gift to readers of international fiction and fans of this extraordinary writer.@16@@91@
"At a time when most 20th-century science fiction writers seem hopelessly dated, Dick gives us a vision of the future that captures the feel of our time."--WiredIn the future, most of humanity lives in massive underground bunkers, producing weapons for the nuclear war they've fled. Constantly bombarded by patriotic propaganda, the citizens of these industrial anthills believe they are waiting for the day when the war will be over and they can return aboveground. But when Nick St. James, president of one anthill, makes an unauthorized trip to the surface, what he finds is more shocking than anything he could imagine.
Throughout her years as schoolmistress, Miss Read has gathered excellent accounts of the rich and varied history of her beloved country village, often through neighborly conversation over the gate. Fairacre has garnered its share of odd incidents, entertaining episodes, and village folklore, from an unusual recipe for weight loss found in an old notebook -- and used with alarming consequences -- to the tragic story of the village ghost. With characteristic grace and vigor, Miss Read retells many treasured stories of Fairacre past and present.
The enchanting follow-up to Village School, Miss Read's beloved first novel, Village Diary once again transports us to the picturesque English village of Fairacre. Each chapter describes a month in the life of the village school’s headmistress, Miss Read. As the villagers prepare for their country pageant, Fairacre welcomes many newcomers, such as the headstrong Amy, Mr. Mawne (whom the villagers would like to see the reluctant Miss Read marry), and the earnest new infants' teacher, Miss Jackson.
The first novel in the beloved Fairacre series, VILLAGE SCHOOL introduces the remarkable schoolmistress Miss Read and her lovable group of children, who, with a mixture of skinned knees and smiles, are just as likely to lose themselves as their mittens. This is the English village of Fairacre: a handful of thatch-roofed cottages, a church, the school, the promise of fair weather, friendly faces, and good cheer -- at least most of the time. Here everyone knows everyone else's business, and the villagers like each other anyway (even Miss Pringle, the irascible, gloomy cleaner of Fairacre School). With a wise heart and a discerning eye, Miss Read guides us through one crisp, glistening autumn in her village and introduces us to a cast of unforgettable characters and a world of drama, romance, and humor, all within a stone's throw of the school. By the time winter comes, you'll be nestled snugly into the warmth and wit of Fairacre and won't want to leave.
Miss Read's 36th novel takes readers back to the village of Thrush Green, where special plans and celebrations are being made for the village school's 100th anniversary celebration. And although plans become complicated, events culminate in a very special celebration.
Open the gate to Fairacre, America’s favorite English village. /> /> The two-hundred-year-old cottages known as Tyler’s Row, with charming leaded-glass windows and an arched thorn hedge over the gateway, are supposed to provide a haven of peace for their new owners, Peter and Diana Hale. They plan to convert the middle two cottages into one, to create their own rural refuge. But beset by carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and bills, as well as their neighboring tenants, the redoubtable Sergeant Barnaby and the sour Mrs. Fowler, both longtime residents of Tyler's Row, the couple soon have cause to ponder their decision. Fairacre is not the utopia they expect, and the Hales must adapt to ordinary life in a village full of extraordinary quirks.
Feelings are running high in the Cotswold village of Thrush Green. The rector's plan for the neglected churchyard doesn't meet with universal approval; there is a clash of personalities at the local school; and someone has returned to the village after an absence of fifty years.
Times are changing in the charming downland village of Fairacre, and Miss Read isn't certain that it's all for the best. The new commuter lifestyle has caused a drop in attendance at the local school, and officials are threatening closure. Miss Read worries about the failing health of Dolly Clare. Vegetable gardens have given way to trips to the Caxley markets, and the traditional village fete now includes a prize for best quiche. With her trademark patience and good humor, Miss Read hopes for the best and plans for the worst as the village grows increasingly modern. Despite all the innovations, Fairacre still retains its essential elements: gentle wit, good manners, and the comfort of caring neighbors.
Miss Read's charming Thrush Green series continues with Friends at Thrush Green. There had been general dismay when Miss Watson and Miss Fogerty retired to Barton-on-the-Sea after many years of devoted service teaching the children of Thrush Green, so their visit to see old friends in the village brings great pleasure. The new headmaster, Alan Lester, is cautiously accepted, but rumor is rife about his wife's health.
Meanwhile, Farmer Percy Hodge is also the subject of local speculation: Is his strange behavior the result of an infatuation with the young Doreen Lilly? As for affairs at the Lovelocks' house, it is increasingly apparent that Bertha Lovelock is now in her dotage and a new and most unfortunate habit is the cause of considerable embarrassment to the good people of Lulling. All these matters and more are faced by our old friends against the familiar background and changing seasons of the English Cotswolds.